By THE BORNEOTODAY TEAM
KOTA KINABALU: The highly controversial Tanjung Aru Eco Development project will be stopped if Parti Warisan Sabah is given the peoples’ mandate in the next State elections.
Warisan vice president made the pledge of not going ahead with TAED, and that one of the first things he and his colleagues would do if Warisan was to win the elections was stop it from proceeding.
“There are many reasons why the TAED project should be stopped but I’m just giving one now, and that alone is serious enough to end this once and for all – the project reeks of conflict of interests,” Junz claimed.
He said one look at the board members of TAED show that most of them report to the Minister of Finance, who is also the Chief Minister, and under such circumstances, none would be able to contribute or object effectively.
“Every single board member reports to, and also takes instruction from one man, and one man only,” Junz who is also Likas Assemblyman said in a statement Friday.
“There are obvious flaws and serious conflicts of interest regarding the planning, submission and approval processes.
“This reason alone is already strong enough as to why Sabah has to reject this TAED project. There are many other pressing reasons too but one person having just too much say is extremely bad.”
Junz congratulated members of the public who spent the time to study the draft local plan at the Mayor’s office and praised those who submitted their objections, saying they did so not only because they realized the City is blessed because of its natural beach, but they want the future generations to enjoy what they did as youngsters.
Junz also reminded the public this was only the first round of consultation as the Mayor’s office needed to study the objections, hear each and every objector and present a schedule of the objections with the Mayor’s recommendations to the central town and country planning board.
The Mayor will be required to hold a second round of public consultation before he submits his report on public consultation to the Central Board, added the state lawmaker.
“So stay tuned and be prepared to speak up on the views you hold dear,” he added.
Junz said his party colleagues see a major review of TAED and several other projects throughout the State as compulsory, and would need the assistance of experts, but at the material time, the public would be the judge on the best use of public land.
He said unlike BN they would not be relying on artist impressions and videos to hoodwink the public into believing a fairy tale ending lies ahead. “We will engage the people before making major decisions and this is no empty promise.”
Accordingly, development opportunities will be made in other districts so that there would be employment opportunities for the rural youth who do not need to migrate to the city or even outside the state for work.
He said Sabah boasts miles and miles of outstanding beaches from Sipitang and Kuala Penyu in the south stretching all the way to Kudat in the north, and anywhere in between could be opened up for similar tourism development.
“The action of the government on TAED has raised many eyebrows because the public are not just concerned about the destruction of a natural beach, but are deeply disturbed at the blatant top-down, back-to-front and inside-out approach to planning and development.
He all these started well before the Prime Minister launched the project and even before the public knew what had been proposed for Tanjung Aru Beach, and certainly this is not the right way to do things involving public property.
Junz said the Sabah public is not just a bunch of simpletons, and it was they who pointed out that one person’s name was appearing at every level and step of the TAED Development process from the land application and issuance of the land title to the launching of the project.